I have spoken with many of my patients about the experience of not being able to feel all of the feelings that we experienced as a child. This is, unfortunately, what happens with so many. Because our parents might not have been able to tolerate certain feelings in themselves, or, if they are numb to feelings themselves, unknowingly they can shut down the important process of learning how to just be ok with feelings.
When this occurs, the natural process of feeling becomes blocked. Sometimes we can even experience feelings as “weird” or “unnatural” or even worse- feel as if we are making up our feelings.
Feelings are as natural as weather patterns. They come and they go- they move and they change. From a Buddhist point of view, feelings are an important link to our humanity. Without the ability to feel and to know what we are feeling we can become numb ourselves.
This “numbing out” of feeling can lead to addiction, depression, anxiety, and isolation.
An important component of therapy is often “re-learning” how to feel and to give feelings a language. But also, therapy can become a space to help to make friends with our feelings so that we are no longer afraid of them.
I happen to love this video. Watch as the child is allowed by his father to just, well, feel….